A Commitment to Social Justice

We welcome students, faculty, and staff from all races, cultures, gender, and sexual identities. Diversity makes our campus stronger; a variety of voices leads to greater understanding and cooperation. A diverse environment also reflects the world outside Lesley, and prepares students for future careers in a global society.

Our community has a history of social activism, and at the heart of our efforts is a commitment to social justice. Celebrating diversity and inclusion makes our community more welcoming. Individuals feel empowered to work to their full potential, and to contribute to building a more just and humane society.

We live out our mission through an Inclusive Excellence Framework (PDF) that underpins our work across the university. In applying this framework, we have identified five dimensions, within which we work to enhance the state of diversity, inclusion and equity:

  • Infrastructure
  • Access & Equity
  • Campus Climate and Inclusion
  • Curriculum & Learning 
  • Diversity in Research & Scholarship

These five dimensions represent baseline institutional priorities for our campus and community, and guide not only our strategic action, but also our assessment and accountability measures.

Through a collective process, the President’s Committee for Inclusive Excellence (PCIE) has developed a vision for Lesley University, which serves as a guide for what our university can become over time. This Vision Statement was also made possible by data and assessments of our campus community, and by our community members who over recent years have contributed energy and passion toward ensuring that voices are heard and that untold stories are shared.

Our Inclusive Excellence Vision Statement

At Lesley, we aim to develop as an institution whose continual pursuit of excellence is shaped and informed by a commitment to diversity throughout all levels and functions of the university. We aspire to create an inclusive community that affirms the identities of every individual and affords them dignity and respect, regardless of difference. As we work to fully bring this vision to life, we are committed to continually investing in and building our diversity infrastructure over time.

Our community is reflective of many perspectives and life experiences. Diversity in our community refers to social identities such as race, socio-economic status, ethnicity, indigenous background, immigration status, nationality, gender identity/expression, language, ability/disability, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, veteran status or membership in uniformed services, political views, age and physical appearance.

We aim to be a diverse community of students, faculty, staff and alumni that engage with one another across differences in meaningful conversation and use differences to strengthen, build and embolden a Lesley community of engaged global citizens.

We are committed to working inside and outside of the classroom to support this vision. We will create educational programs and experiences that recognize, value and engage with diverse perspectives that make up our community and the world around us. 

Our aim is not only to make us a stronger community of learners, teachers and professionals, but also to enable our students to become highly effective leaders and professionals in their careers and their communities. 

Institutional Action Steps

As we strive to become a more inclusive university, these are some of our current priorities along with areas of active, ongoing investment. 
  • Spring 2018
    • Identification and re-prioritization of key activities in Spring 2018 for the President’s Committee for Inclusive Excellence (PCIE)
    • Establishment of six Working Groups for the President’s Committee for Inclusive Excellence (PCIE)
    • Implementation of the Employee Inclusion Campus Climate Survey 
    • Initial launch of the Bias Education & Response Team (BERT)
    • Announcement of new Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Fall 2019
    • Search initiated for new Equal Opportunity & Title IX Coordinator
    • Appointment of new Chief Diversity Officer
  • Fall 2017
    • Establishment of President’s Committee for Inclusive Excellence
    • Identification of priority strategic action items for academic year 2017-2018 by President’s Committee for Inclusive Excellence
    • Implementation of social justice education course content and facilitation in all first-year experience conference courses
    • Planning & development of Employee Inclusion Climate Survey for Spring 2018
    • Planning & development of institutional Bias Response Program
  • Summer 2017
    • Creation of High Impact Diversity Initiatives Proposal by Academic Leadership Team
    • Adoption of Inclusive Excellence framework to guide institutional diversity efforts
    • Creation of Anti-Oppression Library Guide and The History Makers database
    • Implementation of Cultural Literacy Curriculum Institute Identification of consultants/trainers to assist with development of social justice education curriculum for first-year experience conference courses
    • Identification of consultants to assist with core faculty recruitment strategy
  • Spring 2017
    • Revision of student course evaluation process to include items on inclusive course content and pedagogy
    • Diversity and social justice themed Faculty Development Day sessions in January and May
    • Implementation of Student Inclusion Climate Survey
    • Creation of Diversity Committee for College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Fall 2016
    • Adoption of Diane Goodman Cultural Competencies for curricular integration
    • Implementation of university-wide Introductory Diversity Workshop for faculty and staff
    • Diversity and social justice themed Faculty Development Day in September
  • Summer 2016
    • Creation of Office of Multicultural Affairs & Student Inclusion, including a director
    • Creation and hiring of an assistant director position for Urban Scholars Initiative


These groups collaborate to ensure that work on inclusive excellence is happening across the university.

  • President's Committee on Inclusive Excellence

    The President's Committee on Inclusive Excellence monitors, coordinates, and guides the implementation of Lesley's Inclusive Excellence framework.

  • Task Force on Social Justice in Learning and Teaching

    This task force is charged with developing a plan for infusing the content, concepts, and principles that support social justice into the curriculum and pedagogy of every department.

  • Diversity Council

    The Diversity Council sponsors events to provide experience-changing and thought-provoking forums of cultural, societal, trending, and educational topics that help understand our world in a positive and interconnected way.


We are committed to rooting our academics in principles that foster social justice.
  • Diane Goodman Competencies for Social Justice

    These competencies make up a framework that combines issues of social justice and developing cultural competency. We are working them into the fabric of academics across the university. 

  • Social Justice Curricula Framework
    This curriculum guide helps faculty to scaffold learning goals, outcomes, resources and methods in service of anti-oppressive courses and classrooms. 
  • Faculty Training Sessions
    Across the university, we are investing in our abilities to facilitate difficult conversations across difference.
  • Cultural Literacy Curriculum Institute
    In affiliation with the Diversity Council, the Cultural Literacy Curriculum Institute is designed to enhance the faculty’s knowledge, skills, and ability to teach higher levels of cultural competence and to increase the student’s ability to participate effectively in an ever-increasing global society.


Many offices across the university contribute to this work.
Identity & Social Justice Based Student Groups
At Lesley University, there are a number of opportunities for students to become active on campus around matters related to diversity, identity, culture and social justice. As far as getting connected to these student organizations, students can contact the coordinating offices directly via email. Our office is also available to provide support and to answer questions.


These documents provide additional insight into how we're making Lesley a more inclusive community.
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